In the operating room: Yemen, Day 6

MSF anaesthesiologist Kariantti blogs about young patients in the intensive care unit


There was a little bit of tension in the streets today.

We were asked by our project coordinator Claire to move only by MSF car between the base and the hospital. Normally it's safe to walk.
You could see there were fewer people in the streets.
Most of the patients in the hospital were doing better. We were able to move a nine-year-old boy with a thoracic gunshot wound (who had been lying in the intensive care unit for quite some time) to a normal ward after we closed the wound in his back in the operating theatre.

A girl had a gastrointestinal obstruction, because she had eaten hair and wood. 

This left us with only one patient in the intensive care unit -  a 10-year old boy, who had been operated on elsewhere a month before due to an abdominal gunshot wound.
Now his bowel wasn’t working anymore and he had been vomiting everything he ate.
We had operated on him the night before and found that his stomach was full of adhesions, possibly because of a previous post-operative peritonitis.
We had to leave him with a stoma, which the surgeons will close at a later stage.
Today he was already doing better and recovering from the big operation. So we had another bed free in intensive care - which was good, because of the rising tensions in the town. 
In the wards we were able to discharge many of our patients. Even a girl with a gastrointestinal obstruction, because she had eaten hair and wood. She was doing better and was able to eat. 
And the baby in the pediatric intensive care unit?
She died.
She fought until the next evening, when her little body finally gave in.